Animal Species:Silky Shark, Carcharhinus falciformis (Bibron, 1839)

The Silky Shark is a slender species that occurs in tropical and some warm temperate waters worldwide.

Silky Shark, Carcharhinus falciformis

Sally Reader © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Silky Shark

Alternative Name/s

Silky Whaler

Identification

The Silky Shark has a slender body with a low ridge between the dorsal fins. It has long pectoral fins and a heterocercal  tail. The second dorsal and anal fins have long free rear tips. It has serrated triangular teeth in the upper jaw. The lower jaw teeth are more slender and smooth-edged.

The species is uniform grey to dark brown above and white below. The first dorsal fin is uniformly coloured. The other fins may have dusky tips.

Size range

It grows to 3.3m in length.

Distribution

The Silky Shark occurs in tropical and some warm temperate waters worldwide.

In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and down the east coast to central New South Wales.

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Silky Shark specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It is found in continental shelf and oceanic waters, primarily close to land.

Classification

Species:
falciformis
Genus:
Carcharhinus
Family:
Carcharhinidae
Order:
Carcharhiniformes
Class:
Chondrichthyes
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Last, P.R. & J.D. Stevens. 1994. Sharks and Rays of Australia. CSIRO. Pp. 513.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Silky Shark, Carcharhinus falciformis, Carcharhinidae, Silky Whaler, slender body, long pectoral fins, heterocercal tail, serrated triangular teeth, grey, dark brown, white underside, > 2m, adult, marine, tropical water, temperate water,